What is a Compliance Audit?

What is a Compliance Audit?

Performing a compliance audit is a way to prove that the organization is compliant with regulatory and international standards and also measure how the organization’s operations are regulated, risk-balanced, measurable, and can be monitored.

Based on the results of an audit, the organization will then prepare for formal certification or a renewal audit to confirm that any audit findings have been addressed. Such certifications can strengthen trust in an organization and give it a competitive edge.

But what is a compliance audit and how can you prepare? Discover this and more below.

What is a Compliance Audit?

A compliance audit provides a holistic review of an organization’s adherence to regulatory guidelines. It is meant to evaluate how well the organization meets the requirements of internationally recognized standards.

Independent security or IT consultants first evaluate the strength and thoroughness of compliance preparations. Subsequently, auditors review the implementation of the organization’s policies, controls, and risk management procedures, collecting evidence using a compliance audit process, over an agreed-upon period of time.

What is Examined?

What is examined in such an audit will differ depending on whether an organization is a public or private company, what kind of data it handles, and if it transmits or stores sensitive financial data. For example, health regulatory requirements might include a particular requirement that any client electronic communication must be backed up and secured using a rigorous data encryption process and redundant infrastructure that ensures successful recovery using the organization’s business resumption plan.

Examples of Audit Areas

Healthcare providers that store or transmit e-health records, like Personal Health Information, is subject to HIPAA (Health Insurance Probability and Accountability Act) requirements in the USA. Canada has two federal privacy laws. The Canadian Privacy Act covers the personal information-handling practices of federal government departments and agencies. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), is a federal private-sector privacy law. Other provincial-level regulations apply to specific areas such as healthcare information.

Financial services companies that store, transmit, and process credit card data are subject to PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) requirements.

For each of the above standards, the organization must also be able to demonstrate compliance with requirements by producing evidence in the form of process documents and formal audit trails, generated by data from system and application event logs.

What do Auditors Examine?

While carrying out compliance audit processes, auditors examine all of the compliance requirements from the respective regulatory authority for the applicable industry (e.g., PCI DSS, HIPAA, PIPEDA, ISO 27001, etc.).

Compliance auditors will generally question CIOs, CTOs, and IT administrators with a series of pointed questions over the course of an audit. These may include reviewing which users were given access to an application system and when, who has left the organization, whether user IDs were properly revoked, and which IT administrators have trusted administrative access to critical systems.

IT administrators prepare for compliance audits by collecting data from event log management software and change management software to provide evidence of properly working authentication and control systems and documentation.

The Importance of a Compliance Audit

The compliance audit process may seem complicated and expensive, but it is both crucial and necessary for any organization that provides services that require adhering to any of the regulatory standards. Serious audit findings that are not promptly remediated may not only strip the company of certifications but cause it to lose business.

Conducting regular compliance audits on a periodic basis also provides CIOs, CTOs, and IT management with information on where to correct and improve controls in the organization. Making these enhancements to daily operations can help an organization maintain its competitive advantage in the business environment.

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Ken Perkins

Biography coming soon.

Megan Miller

Megan Miller’s energy and passion for learning flow into all aspects of her work. As the Growth Manager, North America, she brings a background in sciences which she has transitioned to the tech sector in her role at Difenda.

With a Bachelors of Science in Geology, Megan is a lifelong learner who is voracious about learning anything she can get her hands on about cybersecurity. Her positive energy has built a sales strategy with a focus on expanding in the United States while nurturing the Canadian presence. She is responsible for recruiting and training the sales team. Together with the company’s leadership, she creates the sales process and the company’s product strategy in order to better serve the customer base. This ensures that our customers have a highly trained and highly motivated team to help them every step of the way, Megan has completed Microsoft SC-900 training and working towards mastering Microsoft.

Whether at work or play, Megan is fully committed. She took her love of hockey all the way to the semi-professional level as a competitive hockey player. Megan loves all things sports including water skiing, scuba diving, cycling, and snowboarding. She also enjoys time with family and reading about alternative energy, innovation, and cybersecurity.

Natasha Phanor

As the Microsoft Partner Manager at Difenda, Natasha Phanor is responsible for driving growth within our Microsoft Partnership. With six years in the industry, she offers a fresh, energetic approach, and the ability to focus on our customer’s needs throughout the entire process. Natasha has the innate ability to foresee customer needs and solve problems before they arise, which creates a smooth road for each customer she encounters.

As the recipient of the Outstanding Services Partner of the Year Award in 2018, it is clear that Natasha responds quickly to customer needs, creates a platform for understanding a customer’s business requirements, and walks them through the process to ensure their complete satisfaction.

In her spare time, Natasha is as energetic and passionate as she is on the job. A self-proclaimed foodie-extraordinaire, she enjoys dinner parties, traveling, downhill skiing, hiking, biking, and reading. Natasha has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, specializing in Dance, from Ryerson University.

Lisa Templeton

Lisa Templeton is the perfect combination of human empathy and technological prowess. In her role as People Services Manager, she takes care of our team members to support them in their daily work, as well as on their personal life paths. Happy employees make for happy customers, and Lisa excels in giving our employees the tools they need for success in order to become the best possible versions of themselves. Along with employee formation, she shines in the service delivery support domain to continuously improve the process. Her 24 years of experience in IT Operations and Service Management help her create quality and efficiency at Difenda.

Having attended the Information Systems Management certificate program at Ryerson University, and with various other certifications to her credit, Lisa is perceptive and innovative when it comes to information technology, but also sensitive to the needs of her human constituents. Responsible for achieving the first privately owned company HDI Support Center certification in Canada, she has also designed and implemented Service Management excellence programs and 24×7 IT Operations departments for multiple IT organizations, and has created corporate rewards and recognition programs to keep her employees engaged and motivated.

On the personal side, Lisa passionately supports the cause of breast cancer research, having lost her mother to the disease. She reads voraciously in her spare time, and enjoys the art of home renovation. The summer months also bring time on her boat and exploring new hiking trails.

Miranda McCurdy

Miranda McCurdy uses her myriad super powers in all aspects of her job and personal life. As the Marketing Director at Difenda, Miranda McCurdy brings over a decade of experience to the table, which includes expertise in all facets of operations, brand management, and content marketing, as well as a multitude of successful strategies for the ever-expanding digital world. She is an expert at simplifying the message the company is trying to send, filling in gaps in the information, and strengthening the content in order to create compelling narratives that strengthen the brand and developing programs that bring teams together.

With several Addy Awards issued by the American Advertising Federation Cleveland to her credit, and her never say die attitude, Miranda understands both the broader picture and the minute details that are needed to successfully market a product. With her abilities to harness both the talent needed to spread the message, as well as to create the message itself, she is an integral cog in the company’s ability to communicate with customers and other stakeholders.

When she is not building a brand, she shares her ability to fill the gaps in her community by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the Special Olympics, and the Charleston Food Bank. In her spare time, Miranda spends time with her family, enjoys fitness and health, paddle boarding, reading, and arts and crafts.

Juliana Zaremba

Connections are the name of the game for Juliana Zaremba. As Strategic Partnerships Director, she is responsible for Difenda’s channel partnerships and the development and ownership of the channel partner program. She is also responsible for the global Microsoft Partnership, including the creation of strategic plans with MSFT contacts that will facilitate the continued growth of the business and establish certification and training protocols in all security technologies. Her role is multifaceted, as she acquires partners, manages relationships with them, and develops strategies that will provide cutting edge security solutions to our customer base. Another integral aspect of her job is to facilitate growth.

With a Bachelor’s in Math from the University of Waterloo and 14 years of experience from her previous roles at Herjavec Group and CDW, her cutting edge focus and ability to develop long-lasting relationships and strategies provides world class security solutions to our customer base.

Juliana thrives on connections outside of work as well. She is a philanthropist and contributor with Women4Change based in Hamilton. This group of local women is passionate about supporting local causes, and she focuses her efforts around Women in STEM. She is also a member of Club Italia in Niagara Falls and supports their youth events throughout the year.

When not managing the Microsoft Global partnership, Juliana enjoys reading, often reading several books at once. Juliana enjoys exploring the Niagara Escarpment with her family, as well as sharing meals and experiences with her extended family. Juliana’s competitive nature has her always trying new things, like Whoop band challenges and Peloton.

Jeffry Jacob

Biography Coming Soon